The U.S. dollar continued to rebound in Asian trade yesterday after remarks from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke added to speculation about possible U.S. interest rate hikes, dealers said.
The dollar rose to 106.64 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 106.30 in New York late on Monday.
The euro slipped to US$1.5612 after US$1.5642 but rose to 166.49 yen against 166.30.
"The general trend now is to buy the dollar," said Hideaki Inoue, chief manager of forex trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp. "The U.S. authorities are now making hawkish remarks, signalling a rate hike not too far from now to combat inflation," Inoue said.
The Federal Reserve has slashed its benchmark federal funds rate to 2.0 percent from 5.25 percent last September to bolster the sputtering U.S. economy.
Bernanke said Monday that the likelihood of a severe U.S. economic slump has diminished, while "upside risks" to inflation are forcing the Fed to be more vigilant following the latest surge in oil prices.
NAB Capital currency analyst John Kyriakopoulos said Paulson's comments "sent a clear message that officials don't want to see any further weakening in the greenback." He said traders were on "heightened alert" for the meeting of G8 finance ministers in Japan this weekend.
U.S. President George W. Bush said Monday that a strong dollar was in the interest of the United States.
The dollar was mixed against Asian currencies, rising to 1.3669 Singapore dollars from 1.3635 a day earlier and to 44.43 Philippine pesos from 44.00.It fell to 1,024 South Korean won from 1,029, to 9,332.5 Indonesian rupiah from 9,358.0 and to 33.01 Thai baht from 33.24, while holding steady at NT$30.34.